Getty Images

Dance Ranked Most Physically Demanding Job in the U.S.

Dancers certainly don't need anyone to tell them how physical their profession is. But now, we have the data to prove it.

Researchers at InsuranceProviders.com analyzed data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET), a national organization developed through support from the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration, to determine the 20 most physically demanding jobs in the country. They analyzed the level of strength, stamina, flexibility and coordination required for a host of jobs.


Unsurprisingly, careers in hard labor—such as iron and steel workers, roofers, firefighters and construction laborers—accounted for 15 of the 20 professions on the list. But the data determined that dancers have the most physically demanding job of all, with an average combined score of 97 out of 100 for overall level of job physicality. (O*NET collected information to assign a score between 0 and 100 for each of several key aspects of a job.) Dancers scored 100 out of 100 in the stamina, flexibility and coordination categories, and 87.8 out of 100 for strength.

Athletes and sports competitors took third place—though whether this ranking will settle the dancers-versus-athletes debate once and for all is yet to be determined.

Fitness trainers and aerobic instructors, jobs that many dancers take up as side gigs to help support their artistic endeavors, ranked at #5, and choreographers also made the list at #9.

See how the top 20 jobs stack up below.

Courtesy InsuranceProviders.com

Latest Posts


Yvonne Montoya with her son Buddy at home. Photo by Dominic A Bonuccelli, Courtesy Montoya

The Challenges of Dancing While Parenting While Going Through a Pandemic

When Yvonne Montoya climbs all over the piano while her 12-year-old son Buddy tries to practice on it, we might guess that she is either having a parental meltdown or making a dance. Turns out, it's both. "It's been wild, and completely overwhelming," says Montoya from her Tucson, Arizona home, where she lives with Buddy and her husband.

Montoya, a 23rd-generation Nuevomexicana and founding director of Safos Dance Theatre, is one of many dance artists navigating motherhood during COVID-19. Choreographers, educators, artistic directors and dancers are not only trying to keep their careers afloat by creating digital work, but some have also been dealing with their now homebound children in the wobbly world of the Zoom school room, which is about to crank up again in most of the U.S. Doing that while managing a company, a studio or a freelance career can sometimes generate a type of artful chaos.

GO DEEPER SHOW LESS